A.J. Armstrong case: Fired forensic worker tied to case

A recently fired forensic worker has been tied to the case of A.J. Armstrong, according to a letter sent by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

As FOX 26 has reported, former Houston Forensic Science Center DNA Analyst Rochelle Austen was fired for her inability to produce quality work, meet production goals, and lack of attention to detail, which resulted in her termination last month. 

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According to the letter, "Your criminal case was identified as a case that may be associated with this person. This notice is provided solely for the purpose of forwarding information to you, of which this office has been aware."

As you may recall, A.J. Armstrong was found guilty of capital murder for the 2016 murder of his parents, and sentenced to life in prison. 

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Armstrong's lawyers had previously filed a motion for a new trial, but was denied prior to this new development. 

In a statement from the District Attorney's Office, they say, "Ms. Austen’s only involvement in the Antonio Armstrong case was limited to processing items requested by the defense. She had no involvement in testing Mr. Armstrong’s T-shirt or identification badge, and her work had no bearing whatsoever on the trial’s outcome. A Brady notice regarding this case and hundreds of others was issued out of an abundance of transparency and to ensure compliance with both the letter and the spirit of legal requirements." 

On Thursday afternoon, FOX 26 received a statement from Patrick McCann, defense attorney representing Armstrong. He said, "For the record I represent Antonio Armstrong on appeal in the 178th district court. Mr Armstrong can't seem to catch a fair trial at any point. First, the state doesn't divulge the fact that one of their experts had a complaint for professional misconduct. Then the Houston Forensic Science Center discloses after the trial that their expert has mishandled evidence in, my understanding is, several hundred cases. What does it take for a man to get a fair trial in this county? I have to see if I can get the state's latest misconduct in front of someone who can make a difference for Mr. Armstrong."